The Illinois Press Association has honored the Daily Herald with 21 awards for excellence in journalism in 2016, including citations for General Excellence, Best Website and Community Service.
The newspaper's community service recognition includes two projects among the three finalists in the category.
Watchdog reporter Jake Griffin's ongoing series of reports on water quality in the suburbs, "300 Miles from Flint: How Safe Is Our Water" received one of the top awards. Another went to Marie Wilson's series of reports on opioid abuse and mental health issues in the suburbs, including the series "Caregivers in Crisis" about the hardships facing those who provide care to the mentally ill.
The association releases its contest finalists early and will announce the place each project won at a June 9 banquet in Springfield.
Other Daily Herald work being honored includes:
• Two citations for Original Column writing -- for columnist Burt Constable's "Suburban Stories" and for "Letter to Readers" by Jim Slusher, deputy managing editor for opinion.
• Two finalists in Sports Photo: one for John Starks' photograph of leaping Cubs players on the pitchers mound after winning the World Series; and one for Paul Valade for a picture of a high school soccer goalie stretching to try to make a dramatic save.
• Two finalists in Headline Writing -- one for a selection of headlines by news copy editor Kathleen Danes and another for headlines by Associate Sports Editor Don Friske.
• Recognition in the Local Editorial category for Editor John Lampinen, Slusher and the Daily Herald Editorial Board for the newspaper's endorsement in the presidential race.
• A separate citation for the editorial board for a selection of projects in the category for best Editorial Page.
• An award for Best School Board Coverage to Watchdog Editor Jake Griffin, staff reporter Erin Hegarty and the editorial board for the newspaper's coverage and commentary on a 10-year teacher contract approved by the Palatine Elementary District 15 school board.
• An award in the Sports Feature category to Blackhawks beat reporter John Dietz for his project, "Stan Mikita's Kids Share Memories of Their Dad."
• An award in Feature Writing for senior staff writer Dann Gire for his report, "A Life Interrupted" about continuing efforts to solve the mystery of a Mount Prospect teenager's disappearance in 1976.
• Recognition for Best Coverage of Taxation for a selection of Griffin's Tax Watchdog columns.
• An award for Best Investigative/Enterprise Reporting to Transportation And Projects Writer Marni Pyke for her two-day series, "The Facts on Red Light Cameras."
• A Spot News Photo award to staff photographer Joe Lewnard for his picture of firefighters enveloped in smoke at the scene of a car-train crash.
• A Feature Photo award to John Starks for a moody image of a fisherman on the Fox River silhouetted in the reflections of business and vehicle lights in South Elgin.
• A photo award to staff photographer Dan White in the Personality Portrait category for his image of a bugler at sunrise opening the Cantigny Parade Field honoring soldiers who died in World War l.
• A citation in the Informational Graphic category to Data Journalism Editor Tim Broderick for his detailed analysis of election results in the suburbs.
Other newspapers owned by Paddock Publications, Daily Herald's parent company, also are receiving recognition from the IPA. Newspapers in the company's Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group earned five awards in categories for column writing, reporting, feature writing and page design.